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Listening to the radio I seem to be hearing more and more Americans interviewed on the BBC as subject experts from British universities. This is a concern. I find most  books written by US academics muddle headed and poorly researched. The only exceptions are those by former members of the US military who have become academics. Anyway, I think the poor quality of US academia dates back to the Vietnam War when it was expanded too rapidly to accommodate demand for college and university teachers from draft dodging middle class boys. If you're taught by a donkey, you'll become a donkey too. The plethora of US faculty members at British universities  suggests perhaps that  demand has  outstripped the available teaching talent in the UK and maybe we should look again at letting so many former technical colleges pass themselves off as institutes of higher learning. Is there a University of Pumpherston  yet?

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Here's chance to see some camera footage of my hands and feet, my dad's feet and, I think, my wee brother's smiling face. And what, you may ask, have you done to deserve this treat from the Clan Cowan? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I've just got back from hiking in the Rockies with an old mate from high school. Dave is not only a great mate he is also a very talented musician. A while back he recorded a funny little novelty song about going to the pub. And during a visit to The Clan, I filmed some footage for a little video at locations in Glasgow and outside Edinburgh. Our recent camping trip made me want to revisit Dave's video and that reminded me me of how much fun it was.  Judge for yourself -Dave’s Pub Song

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So, the 2020 Olympics have begun in Tokyo. Big Deal. When I was kid I got the Olympics. I cared. But now? Nope. So much cheating, so much money. I don't think the people of Japan or Toyko want The Games, thanks to Covid. But they have no choice. The Olympics are too big a money making machine not go ahead. The choice of venue often involves massive corruption. I bet the Japanese now regret any graft they put the way of the International Olympic Committee. The participants care nothing for me and I care nothing for them. None of them represent me - though I am forced to contribute to their Olympic dream through taxpayer support for sport.  The competitors are in it for themselves. Many are socially maladjusted. Most have been involved in sport since they were kids and the adults involved prefer children's minds in adult bodies. Performance enhancing drugs are endemic and expensive equipment, such as fancy sprung running shoes, can often decide the winner. Often the real competition is between the dopers or equipment makers. Who Cares? I certainly don't. But you feel free. 

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I hear a lot of children's authors talking about creating characters who are like them. As in "When I was a kid I never saw anyone who looked like me on telly or in books" . Personally, I didn't see a lot of Scots, but that may have prevented me being herded into a ghetto of the imagination. I guess there was Scotty on Star Trek and John Grant on Jackanory with his Little Nose stories. I'm not convinced that it's essential to see yourself in a fictional character, after all is a lot of fiction not supposed to be about imagination and escape? The US cartoon makers decided that it was a good idea to introduce characters that little kids could easily identify with. One result was that we got was Scrappy Doo. I rest my case. 

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You know, there might be some money in putting together a selection of theme songs and tunes from the 1970s when the BBC used to show the same imported children's Tv programmes every summer holidays. Year after year after year the morning television was a cycle of The Flashing Blade, Gulliver's Travels, White Horses,  Belle and Sebastian, Heidi and The Banana Splits. The Boy from Lapland might have been in there too, the title song was certainly unusual and catchy enough. I think Germany's  scary The Singing Ringing Tree was also on the summer roster, but encounterwith that one was one too many. I was never a big fan of Belle and Sebastian, Heidi or White Horses, but takes all kinds to make a world.

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